India

India’s third Covid-19 wave ‘unlikely’ to be as severe as second: Study – Hindustan Times

Amid concerns over the severity of a potential third Covid-19 wave in the country, a study has claimed that a third wave, if it occurs, is “unlikely” to be as severe as the second wave.

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The study, titled “Plausibility of a third wave of Covid-19 in India: A mathematical modelling-based analysis” has been authored by a team from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), including its DG Dr Balram Bhargava, Sandip Mandal and Samiran Panda, along with Nimalan Arinaminpathy from the Department of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, School of Public Health at London’s Imperial College.

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Published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR), it presents a vaccine ramp-up scenario in which 40% of the population has received two Covid-19 vaccine doses within three months of the peak of the second wave. Taking that the effect of the vaccination is to reduce the severity of the infection by 60%, the study states that this model illustrates how vaccination could substantially reduce the burden during a possible third wave.

“Any third wave seems unlikely to be as severe as the second wave. Rapid scale-up of vaccination efforts could play an important role in mitigating these and future waves of the disease,” the authors stated.

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The study also involved examination of four potential mechanisms for a potential third wave; for this, a compartmental model of the SARS-CoV-2 transmission was used. The four mechanisms were: waning immunity restores previously exposed individuals to a susceptible state; emergence of a new viral variant capable of escaping immunity to previously circulating strains; emergence of a new viral variant more transmissible than the previously circulating strains; and release of current lockdowns leading to fresh opportunities for transmission of the disease.

India’s second Covid-19 wave was at its peak during April-May. During this period, the country registered daily cases and related deaths higher than those in any other country since the pandemic struck early last year. Since then, however, the wave has subsided though daily infections continue to be near or more than 50,000 while fresh fatalities remain above the 1,000-mark

(With PTI inputs)

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